Polyorchidism is the incidence of more than two testes. It is a very rare congenital disorder, with under 100 cases reported in medical literature. The most common form is triorchidism, or tritestes, where three testes are present. The condition is usually asymptomatic, but can increase the risk of testicular cancer.
Polyorchidism occurs in several forms:
- Type 1: The supernumerary testis lacks an epididymis and vas deferens and has no connection to the other testes.
- Type 2: The supernumerary testis shares the epididymis and the vas deferens of the other testes.
- Type 3: The supernumerary testis has its own epididymis and shares a vas deferens.
- Type 4: Complete duplication of the testis, epididymis and vas deferens.
Type 2 is the most common form of polyorchidism, and types 2 and 3 together account for more than 90% of cases. Except in type 1, the supernumerary testis is usually reproductively functional. The supernumerary testis is most often found in the left scrotal sac.
Polyorchidism is generally diagnosed via an ultrasound examination of the testicles.
Polyorchidism alone does not increase testosterone production.
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- Triorchidism : An Incidental Finding And Review Of Literature, KUNDU, A, (et al.). Available at: http://medind.nic.in/jae/t01/i1/jaet01i1p37.pdf [Accessed 22/12/2004]